F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines
Week of:
July 2, 2000
Random Thoughts on Responsibility

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

The more Big Brother tries to take care of us, the less able we become to care for ourselves.

Let the Buyer Beware!
With the success of the anti-tobacconists, every conceivable kind of business could suddenly find itself liable, retroactively, for alleged risks dreamed up by unscrupulous lawyers and their conniving clients. Litigation itself could prove hazardous to our health, and to the health of our free enterprise system. Do we really want to be a nation of victims, a nation of petulant children? This is what we will become if we keep refusing to accept responsibility for our actions. Life is full of risks. The only way to avoid them all is not to get out of bed in the morning, and then you run the risk of muscular atrophy. People make mistakes; it's part of being human. Some people acknowledge them; some blame others. The ones who accept responsibility are called adults.

Let the Voter Beware!
Guardians of the public interest, hear this: Go peddle your paternalism somewhere else. The American voter is tired of being condescended to. Instead of increasing the restrictions on campaign financing, let's eliminate them altogether. By all means, require full and immediate disclosure of campaign donations, but place no limit on them. Let the print and broadcast media fulfill their watchdog role by trying to establish that Mr. Fatcat's contribution to Candidate X is a payment for services rendered or anticipated. Let Candidate Y make as much hay as he can out of it. Then we, the informed voters, can decide for ourselves if the transaction is cause for concern.

Welfare or Warfare?
It's ironic that a program that has done so much harm to so many people should be called welfare. Even on a materialistic level -- which is the level with which its proponents seem obsessed -- welfare has been a complete flop. On a spiritual level -- the level its adherents refuse to confront -- it's impossible to calculate the damage done to recipients and duressed donors alike. We've both been made harder, more apathetic, more resentful of each other. Nevertheless, with the devastation it has wrought all about us, welfare retains its defenders among preening ideologues. If they really cared about the poor and the homeless, however, they would stop waging war on the fathers who could provide for them.

Porn to Be Wild
Our culture is awash in filth. Do we really want it to become even more depraved? Let's stop kidding ourselves about the alleged harmlessness of pornography, its supposed lack of victims. Anyone accosted by it, willingly or not, is victimized. Our fathers, sons, and brothers are coarsened and desensitized by smut; our mothers, daughters, and sisters condemned to live, without love, in a world of rutting apes. How can so many Americans be so persnickety about the healthfulness of the foods they ingest into their bodies, and care not a whit about the toxins fed into their minds? If we are what we eat, how much more so are we what we perceive?

Duplantier is the author of the new book Politickles: Limericks Lampooning the Lunatic Left (Merril Press, 2000), available at Amazon.com and other online locations.

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